Do better than survive

January 28, 2022 | 33 comments

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

~ Maya Angelou

33 thoughts on “Do better than survive”

  1. Some years ago a women was coming to met me to discuss the future of her unborn child of mixed race.. To help her feel comfortable I took her to a gospel church in San Francisco. On the way I told her of my admiration for Maya Angelou the author of so many beautiful poems.
    To my surprise, and a feeling of providence ,Maya Angelou was a guest at church that day.
    I adopted the child and this year he graduates from college.
    He is thriving and full of compassion. And I am blessed.

    1. Dear John, thank you for sharing your story of love, compassion and joy. It sure gave me a lift and smile, I felt very moved. Blessings to you and your son.

  2. What wonderful thoughts to keep us thru the day’s experiences. Not just survive but thrive for ourselves and all those around us. The world has need of each of us
    to maintain our spiritual world. Linda

  3. Maya Angelou is a lovely example of thriving. I wanted to know her better, as I love her poetry and words, so recently I read (reread I Know Why The Caged Bitd Sings) her 7 autobiographical books. Her life itself is a tremendous example of overcoming; of being and doing all & everything she had within her, using every talent and gift she had to give.
    Evan, I always appreciate your inclusion in our SpiritView conversations. It’s rewarding and inspiring to share experiences, understanding, love and compassion- the compassion which is so prevalent in our Lesson this week, and, of course, what we ARE to be: Moved with compassion” impelled by Love!

  4. Such a beautiful SpiritView to wake up to! The comments read like Maya Angelou poetry. I see the
    name Andrew Brewis and I hear a melody in the background.. Thank you all.

  5. “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” (Another simple but
    yet so profound statement of Truth and Love) S&H pg. 494: 10.
    Maya Angelou’s angel message above and Mrs. Eddy’s statement pretty much says it all.
    And what a wonderful reminder today’s blessing is to you, John. Thank you for sharing that
    with us.

  6. Maya Angelou repeatedly experienced others criticizing her for speaking up about taboo topics and persisting long past others wanting to hear or read it. Why couldn’t you just keep to nice little pleasant poem that don’t ruffle feathers? Mortal mind attacked her truth while ignoring, discounting, slandering, rejecting, and then claiming faults agreement with her mentioning thoughts that discomforted those who wanted to stay comfortable in racism and other sins. I tried to make her give up and shut up. As they did to Mary Baker Eddy and others who today dared to mention the urgency and relevance and importance of the truth she discovered and taught and lived.

    I like to write down quick notes before I go to bed of examples that were brought to my attention during that day of people who obey the prophetic gift and call of Christ to speak truth to power and to live Love/Truth/Principle, and courageously persevere under rejection and persecution for righteousness’ sake. I like to celebrate them and to not feel alone by that life purpose to obey God and to serve and bless others, knowing that everyone and everything is interconnected, and our every thought and act matters. They are a reminder to not be discouraged or self-pitying when standing out separate from the mob mentality means the mob will turn against us. I like to celebrate whatever media acknowledges them in a time when otherwise we would be manipulated to go along to get along or to give into indifference or cynicism/self-justification/despair. To resist fear as rigidity freezing, running away/psych denial/self-deception, distraction and excuses, fighting the wrong way, appeasing and pleasing the bullies, etc.

    I have written different nights some of Maya Angelou’s examples of these Prophet-motives at different times they’ve come up that day. Last night it was more examples of Thich Nhat Hanh persisting on living peace within himself and courageously promoting peace and unity while caring for victims of war, when he had the powerful religious organizations and press and militaries and political institutions of different nations try to silence or destroy him and his message. He learned the language of the occupiers /oppressors of the Vietnamese, becoming fluent in French, English, Mandarin, and then later, to help bring world peace, Farsi and maybe Arabic. I don’t know about Hebrew. That takes humility and curiosity, empathy and compassion, self disciplined obedience to bring every thought into alignment with divine Mind. He brought to European and American or Canadian societies engaged mindfulness — a better appreciation of and commitment to and experience with quieting the human mind, not taking mortal mind’s thoughts personally as our own, and letting them go, while committing to compassion for all lived in courageous justice/action.

    Over and over and over his students turned against him as those did against Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy. Repeatedly his writings like Mary’s were lost or polluted or not published or banned. Over and over and over he was rejected and banned and exiled or attacked by the government(s), like Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy. He persuaded Martin Luther King to speak out against the Vietnam war and militarism capitalism, even though MLK knew that would bring the most resistance and danger to him, as details of his assassination confirmed. As with Maya, Martin was accepted as long as he preached nonviolence and respectability and vague general churchy demands to keep the masses easy to exploit, but not when he rejected and rebuked our nation’s most treasured gods of materialism/capitalism requiring poverty, racism, militarism, and ecocide.

    It is a reminder to check if I am obeying the Christ enough to get the antichrist’s resistance and rejection, if I am living Principle enough to get the attacks of personality. And if I am not, then I better get my act together and more courageously live Love more humbly and speak/work truth to “power” more accurately and persistently. Jesus, Mary, Maya, Nhat Hanh, and Martin also share that empowerment and exhilaration in which we are so impressed by God speaking so clearly to us and affirming and protecting the message we are to live, that it gives us an inner joy and faith in God that makes us stronger for the next assignment that seems so much harder with harsher resistance and personal attack. And as we are more humble we also find the divine Mind, divine Soul, makes our words, tone, and actions more powerful because they’re also more precise and full of grace. I also imagine that each of these individuals prayed or persisted in believing that others could want to hear the truth and understand it and value it and courageously act on it when doing so is contrary and fought by the dominant culture.

    Reminding me of Maya Angelou is a reminder when I am confronting a wrong done by bureaucrats in a government agency later this afternoon, to do it with more prayer and compassion and inner peace, humor and humility, as well as precision. I can remember hearing the voice of Maya Angelou, Thick Nhat Hanh, and Martin Luther King Junior, to remind me not just to go forward to bravely do what I know I will today and next week, but to do it how they did it— with the grace of humble love. And I can cherish the writings and examples of Mary Baker Eddy and the instructions for each of us in our manual for The First Church of Christ, Scientist on how to better bring our every thought and action and emotion aligned with the healing purpose of our life glorifying God and blessing all. Wednesday after my public testimony against a local example of militarism and violence I got the affirmation of a commissioner, another long time peace in social justice activist, who is under horrific attack and in my gratitude for her acknowledgment in front of all the cameras, I mentioned it to a friend who then will do more to support this courageous truth teller and activist. It is the commissioner’s principled love that make her so courageous, And so attacked, As are so many of my beloved friends libeled and harassed after their children and lived-ones were murdered by police. The resulting courageous compassion of all the different volunteers I’ve met who are working for justice to prevent that in the future who have now become friends supporting me through different things. It is that Christ demand to ever improve how we live and communicate Love, Principle, Truth in a world that hates each. To respond with that humble courageous compassion to bless those that persecute us. And maybe someday I will feel more of the gracious humor that Mayer exemplified. Thank you for the reminder. And thank you for the hour by hour parenting a child to be so successful in the world that seems determined to prevent that.

  7. Thank you Evan for this meaningful quote by Maya Angelou, which “stir(s) the human mind to a change of base,…” Science and Health page 162

    Edith,- you “speak truth to power” most effectively. Grace, commitment, love, and humility shine through your words, which so beautifully depict Maya Angelou’s mission statement. Thank you.

  8. The topic today is Do Better than Survive. In these times, many people may feel that surviving is about as much as can be hoped for. But if it is true that in God “…we live and move and have our being….we are His offspring” (Acts 17:28), then we can claim our divine right to thrive as the beloved children of the most high God.

    Love to all!

  9. Angie, thanks for the link to that very special article. “Mark The Perfect Man” is my favorite solo by
    William Burden, soloist at The Mother Church. I have it on my computer and listen to it often.

    1. WHO AM I?
      “The source, origin, condition of all existence is infinite Love, never conditioned by any ‘earth born taint’ any more than the light shining through the windowpane is conditioned by the windowpane. This is why you are perpetually safe from all that the world has ever said of you.”

      “Man’s individual being reflects the One supreme indivisible Being and is His own conscious image; and this individuality never originated in molecule, corpuscle, materiality, or mortality. God holds man in the eternal bonds of Science—in the immutable harmony of divine law. It is Truth’s knowledge of Its own infinitude which forbids the genuine existence of even a claim to error. This knowledge is light wherein there is no darkness—not light holding darkness within itself. The consciousness of light is the eternal law of God revealing Him and nothing else.”
      (“No and Yes” 26:19)

  10. Wonderful, Evan! I had the opportunity to meet Maya Angelou many years ago at the American Booksellers Association convention (I was working for American Booksellers in NYC at the time). What a lovely, gracious lady. (She spoke at one of our book-and-author breakfasts and copies of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” were given to everyone who attended). I just devoured it afterwards and have always loved and appreciated her since that day.

  11. Yes, thank you Evan. We can do better than only survive, namely enjoy the Life God gave us and even is our Life itself! Thanks to God for Life, Truth and Love – and for the understanding God gave us that Health and everything else is spiritual and therefore is harmonious !
    Thanks Evan, it’s very needed what you gave us so comforting and loving up here.
    Thanks a lot for the refreshing, joy expressing picture up here!♡

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